Worlds Largest Finger painting (100X50 feet)
A group of student artists, both local and international, are working non-stop on what they hope will turn out to be the world's largest finger and foot painting. The project is being worked on at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara on Scott Road.
Artists paint for peace
Their message is simple - we all laugh and cry in the same language.
And in the process of spreading that message, Jignesh Patel and a group of international student artists were attempting to create the largest finger and foot painting the world has ever seen.
Without the use of brushes and rollers, the artists were feverishly working on the 464.5-square-metre (5,000-square-foot) canvas painting this week at the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara on Scott Road.
Their aim was to smash the world record for the largest such painting, a 250.8-square-metre (2,700-square-foot) depiction of the American stars and stripes flag, created last year by 43 students at the Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.
The group - called the Creative Campus-International Art Association - began the process Monday morning and were planning to work non-stop until the project was complete.
The centre of the painting shows a dove and a map of the world, which is surrounded by flags, hearts, a giant rainbow and an Olympic symbol made of peace signs.
"I have many dreams. This is only one dream and I want to fulfill it," said Patel, the main artist, who hails from the state of Gujarat in India.
Patel and five other members, including fellow teamleader Munir Rehman, come from the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, where Hindu-Muslim riots occurred last year while India and Pakistan were at war.
"We have seen children and innocent people suffer," said project co-ordinator Megha Parikh. "Everywhere innocent people are killed. So we want to spread the message of peace to the whole world."
Patel is Hindu and Rehman is Muslim, but the discrepancy hasn't stood in the way of a 20-year friendship. For the past year, the two artists have resided in Vancouver, along with the rest of the 11-member team, some of whom study at the Pro-Soft Training Institute in Surrey.
One of the artists is Japan's Teruaki Ikeda, 23, of Hiroshima, Japan, whose grandmother died when the city was bombed during the Second World War.
"I'm so sensitive for peace," said Ikeda, who is studying business management at a Vancouver ESL school.
Over the past six years the association has created five finger and foot paintings, including a 23.23-metre (250-foot) long painting for TB and AIDS awareness in 2000 in Ahmedabad.
The piece had quite an impact on at least 35 people who, according to Patel, quit smoking on the spot.
"Art can make awareness very easily," said Patel, who hopes to operate an art therapy centre for children when he returns to Ahmedabad, where his wife and child reside.
"Art can make revolution. It can make peace and make awareness."
Upon discovering the world record was attainable, Patel approached The Guinness Book of World Records, which has issued the group a membership and identification number.
"We've been planning the painting for the past year," he said. "It's been a very big struggle."
But they managed to elicit the help of the Scott Road gurdwara and various members of the Sikh community, who donated the venue and materials.
At this point, the group is not sure where the painting will hang.